The first time my partner–who’s Brazilian–saw English Bay Beach he said it reminded him of Rio’s beaches. I know what he means. It’s not that the views are the same (although I happen to think our mountains-and-ocean combo is just as stunning, in its own way), it’s the feel of the beach, the way it’s set just off the junction of Beach Ave. and Denman St., with apartments and restaurants and shops right there. The way the beach makes the West End into a beach town, not just a downtown, with the beach a part of neighbourhood life, part of the character of the city.
During the summer–or whenever the weather is warm and sunny–Vancouver really does act like a beach town, and I love that about my city. I love that I can lay out on English Bay Beach in the afternoon then put on my shorts and flip-flops and head down Denman St. for any kind of food imaginable–Japanese, African, Russian, English, Greek…. Or I can splurge on Vancouver-style seafood at one of the fancier restaurants right by the beach–like the Boathouse or Raincity Grill–without changing my clothes.
Top 5 Reasons to Love English Bay Beach
- Stanley Park is right there! Head west and you’re in it.
- It’s the perfect distance from Yaletown (about 30 minutes) for a walk along the waterfront on a sunny day or moonlit night.
- Denman Street! Restaurants galore, tons of gelaterias, shops to explore, bike rental places, and enormous cakes–all within a few blocks of the beach.
- The way it turns Vancouver’s downtown into a beach town every summer and makes me think–every time I’m there–how damn happy I am to live in this city.
- It’s a given, but it still has to be said: It’s beautiful.
What do you love about English Bay Beach?